Recruiters often use LinkedIn to find potential candidates. So if you ever receive a message from one, what should be your response?
Should you ignore them or respond promptly? Is it ok to reply to their offer even if you currently have a job?
According to experts, here are ways to respond to a recruiter on LinkedIn.
HR manager | Co-founder, PeopleFindFast
The candidates should reply confidently, naturally, honestly, and directly
I expect the candidates to reply to me confidently, naturally, honestly, and directly no matter which platform. I would suggest using customized templates for better-looking email responses.
I feel a candidate’s response to a recruiter depends on whether one is interested or not interested in the job or company. But remember to start with a “Thank you for reaching out with the great opportunity.”
If the candidate is interested, they should ask for more details and an interview
“I am interested in the role offered by your company. I want to hear more about the opportunity.
I would love to know your thoughts about why you feel I would be fit for the role. Would you be open to a call?”
If the candidate is confused, they should mention that they’re open to discussing the opportunity
If the candidate is confused, they should be honest to accept that they are happy with the current job but would like to know about the opportunity offered.
“I am happy with my current role in my company, but I am open to discussing the opportunity.
The company and position have exciting potential, and I never turn down an offer to converse about your company. Is it possible to connect via phone?”
If the candidate is not interested, send a clear but polite response
“While the offer seems interesting, I am happy with my current position. However, I will certainly contact you if I make a change in the future.”
Lastly, I would conclude by saying that as an experienced recruiter, I feel the response helps create a first impression and starting point of the communication.
Arno Markus BA, MSc., CPRW
Connect with them with a personalized message about the role
Recruiters work with a sense of urgency, so responding right away is essential. Connect with them with a personalized message about the role.
Related: How to Respond to a Job Offer
If you’re interested in the opportunity
I would glance at the job description or go to the recruiter’s website and determine which job they had in mind by reaching me or the types of roles they generally recruit for.
In the subject line, I would reference the job position. You’d be astounded at how many people misspell names, so double-check!
I would express appreciation for reaching out with the opportunity, and I would include a little blurb addressing my qualifications in the job description. If I were given an email, I would respond with an email and LinkedIn.
I would finish the message by taking the conversation offline as quickly as possible for a meeting and providing a telephone number underneath my name.
Check and recheck, and as a side note, I will send a follow-up email in a few days.
“I’ve enjoyed chatting to people in XYZ’s company, and I like how it looks. I want to apply formally for this company’s open position..”
If you’re interested in the company, but not the role
Thank you very much for asking for my role! I’m actively searching for new possibilities, but ideally, I’d like a job that could allow me to work remotely, expand my marketing experience, and become a volunteer.
I think that this position does not fit me exactly. Do you know of other jobs that would suit me nicely?
You may reach me through [Your email and phone number].”
If you’re on the fence
“Hello [Recruitor’s name],
Thanks for the email. I am happy with my current role at the [Business name], and I’m glad to discuss it. I will never hesitate to chat about this role and company.
[Inserting compelling aspects in jobs/businesses]. Can we talk on the phone on another day?”
Managing Director, Westwood & Wilshire LLC
The value of recruiters is that they can make you aware of job opportunities that you would not otherwise have known about on your own.
As you progress in your career, recruiters can play a vital role in helping your advancement.
Therefore, it’s almost always a good idea to respond to a recruiter who has reached out to you proactively on Linkedin.
The times when you don’t need to answer are when the InMail is off-target. For example, you’re in marketing, and a recruiter contacts you for a role as a software engineer—a stupid error of automation.
Build good relations with recruiters for the long-term
Respond to recruiters who present you with appropriate opportunities. If you’re not interested in the specific job described, let the recruiter know in case they have other potential positions now or in the future.
“Hi Bob, thanks for contacting me re the Product Marketing role at XYZ. While I have done product marketing in the past, I’m looking to specialize in Digital Marketing opportunities in my next move.
Please keep me in mind for anything that might come up in that area.”
The simple “no thank you” will suffice
“Hi Bob, thanks for contacting me re the Product Marketing role at XYZ. I’m not ready to make a move but appreciate your outreach.”
Look for the recruiter’s calendar link to self-schedule a call
If the job looks interesting, respond promptly, referencing the specific opportunity (recruiters work on multiple jobs, so make it easy for them to make the connection).
In their email signature, look for the recruiter’s calendar link to self-schedule a call or include your availability (and ideally add your resume) to your response.
“Hi Bob, thanks for making me aware of XYZ’s Digital Marketing Director role.
I’d love to explore it with you further and am open for a call tomorrow, Tuesday, between 10-2 pm Eastern and Wednesday between 3-5 pm Eastern time.
I look forward to speaking with you soon and am attaching my resume for your review.”
Be a gracious and polite candidate to get better results
Recruiting is a tough job! Recruiters hear “no” and “go away” all day long. Because of all the rejection that comes with recruiting, gracious and polite candidates are super-appreciated.
You’ll get much better results by being that candidate who treated them with kindness.
Even if you’re not interested in the job you were contacted for, you might be the first person they call next time when the job is one you want.
CEO and Co-founder, Talent Matters Inc.
LinkedIn, when used correctly, creates a win-win solution for both the candidate and the recruiter.
To best answer your question about how a candidate should respond to a recruiter on LinkedIn, I would like to provide my top two “dos” and “don’ts” when a recruiter reaches out:
Do respond as soon as possible
Like many other professionals, recruiters are usually under tight timelines to get the best talent for their clients. If you don’t respond within a couple of days of receiving the request, you may find that the position is no longer available.
Do respond to all the recruiter’s questions
For example, if they ask you for some available times and provide the best way to contact you, it’s much more efficient if you give that info right away in your response.
I can’t tell you how often people set up a date and time for the recruiter to contact them, but they don’t provide any contact details.
Then they don’t check their messages for days to see that the recruiter has been desperately trying to set up a call. It slows down the process and may exclude the candidate from the search.
Don’t ignore the request
Just respond that you’re not interested in the position. The reason is two-fold.
First, no one likes to be “ghosted,” and it shows a level of professionalism that you’re letting the recruiter know, “Hey, thanks for thinking of me, but I’m not interested in this position.”
Secondly, a recruiter may have a cap on the number of messages they can send out. Messages generally get credited back to the recruiter when someone responds.
So, if they don’t get a response, that limits the number of messages they can send until they are replenished. Again, it’s a matter of professional courtesy.
Don’t ask the recruiter to provide them with the client’s name, salary information, etc.
Don’t ask the recruiter to provide them with the client’s name, salary information, and a copy of the job description before you have a call with the recruiter.
This feels discourteous to a recruiter. A recruiter wants to build a rapport with the candidate before they provide all the information.
Further, many recruiters are paid on a contingent basis by the hiring company, so they don’t want the candidate applying directly to the hiring company, especially after they took the time to source the candidate and provide them with the opportunity details.
Similarly, a hiring company that has engaged a recruiter often does not want to have candidates contacting them directly outside of the process they have established with the recruiter.
Recruiter | Leader, USScrapYard
When a recruiter has reached out to someone on LinkedIn, it is always a good idea to respond, whether the job is exciting and whether one is looking for a job.
The connections with people we make are among the most important assets we can have. And accordingly, it is always best to take the time and send a reply to the recruiter as soon as possible, whether interested or not.
And with email notifications that arrive on your phones in your pockets, there is no excuse to reply a couple of days late.
When you are interested — thank the recruiter for making contact
Thank the recruiter for making contact and ask them about the job role in more detail. You can even suggest scheduling a phone call to talk more in-depth about what they expect from you, which would help you make your final decision.
It can go somewhere along the line of this:
“I thank you for considering me for this position and would love to have additional details about the job. It will be my pleasure to have a phone call if that suits you to discuss everything in detail.
Looking forward to hearing from you, I thank you for your consideration.”
When you are not interested — apologize for having to decline their offer
It is also essential to reply even if you are not interested in the job. It is always good to stay on favorable terms with everyone, whether online or in person.
A proper response will also start by thanking them for considering you and would apologize for having to decline their offer as it isn’t a good time for you, but truly appreciate the opportunity.
It is crucial to avoid automated responses like replying with the “not interested” message.
The reply can go something like this:
“Thank you for considering me as a potential employee, but I am under an ongoing employment contract. I hope we will have the chance to discuss future opportunities when I have more fortunate circumstances.”
HR Manager, ResumeLab
The odds are high that, at some point, a recruiter will reach out to you on LinkedIn.
Of course, this is terrific news, and you should feel proud (of your accomplishments and pedigree).
So how does one reply to such a message?
It depends on your level of interest in the position
Well, it most strongly depends on your level of interest in the position. If you’re not interested, let them know as such.
For example, you could write:
Thanks for thinking of me. I appreciate you reaching out. At this point, I’m pretty content where I am, so I’m not looking for new opportunities—best of luck.
You should customize your reply
On the other hand, you might be interested or open to new opportunities. Here is where you might ask for more information.
Depending on what the recruiter wrote, you might want to customize your reply, but the below is a good starting point for the conversation to the next step.
For example, you could write:
Thanks a lot for the message. I would be curious to find out more about the role. Can you provide me with some additional details?
I’m curious if there is potential for a good fit. I am looking forward to hearing back from you soon. Thank you.
[Your first name]
Head of People, Spacelift
Make an excellent first impression on a person reaching out to you
Whether or not you’re interested in changing your current job, making an excellent first impression on a person reaching out to you with a job offer wouldn’t hurt.
Nowadays, job seekers have more control over their careers, and recruiters are eager to show what they have to offer.
There are two ways the conversation via LinkedIn can go. One if you’re interested in the offer and a second if you’d like to decline the offer politely. Let’s see them both:
If you’re interested:
“Hi [Recruiter’s name],
Thank you for reaching out with this fantastic opportunity. [Commonality or a compliment of the X company works].
I’m interested in [Company’s] [Job title] role and want to learn more about the job’s specifics.
Also, I’d love to get your thoughts on [Recruiter’s experience at the company, why they reached out to you, and what the teams are looking for].
Would you be open to discussing this over a [call or video conference]?
I would appreciate it.
Let me know what times work best; you may check my availability here [Provide a link to Calendly, etc.]
If you’re not interested:
“Hi [Recruiter’s name],
Thank you for reaching out about the [Job title]; I appreciate it.
While the role and the company you work for seem interesting, I must say, I’m pretty happy with the company I currently work for and the work I do.
If I decide to make a change in the future, I will certainly be in touch.
Thanks again for your consideration.
Psychology Teacher | Lifestyle Blogger, The Inspiration Edit
The best way to respond to a recruiter on LinkedIn is by:
- Do your research on the company
- Getting an understanding of what they do
- Express your interest in the role
- Ask questions about the role and the company
Here are my best tips on how to respond to a recruiter on LinkedIn:
Do your research about the company and the role
The first step is to research the company and the role. You can do this by:
- visiting their website
- reading news articles about them
- checking out their LinkedIn profile
You want to make sure that you’re familiar with the company and the role before you start talking to the recruiter. This research will be your key to responding to a recruiter on LinkedIn in a way that shows you’re a good fit for the company.
Get an understanding of what they do
It’s essential to have a clear understanding of what the company does before you start talking to the recruiter. This way, you can express your interest in the role and the company to show you understand their business.
Express your interest in the role
Once you’ve done your research, you can express your interest in the role by talking about why you’re a good fit for the job. This is where your research will come in handy.
When you’re expressing your interest in the role, mention what you like about the company and why you think you’d be a good fit for the job.
Ask questions about the role and the company
When you’re talking to the recruiter, be sure to ask questions about the role and the company. This will show that you’re interested in the job and willing to learn more about the company.
You can also ask questions about the recruiting process, such as how long it will take or the next steps.
HR Director, Mullen and Mullen
You should reply to it aptly and should not delay the process
When you receive a note from a recruiter on LinkedIn, you should reply to it aptly and should not delay the process because the recruiter might receive replies from other candidates that they have sourced.
Start with a thank you note
When you are writing your reply, make sure you start with a thank you note because that would give the impression that you value the recruiter’s time and their offer of an opportunity.
Moreover, you should mention something about the company they approached you from, e.g., “I have heard great things about the work culture at XYV Company and have read about your recent achievements.”
Politely ask them to explain more about their company
This makes the recruiter think that you are interested in their company. In case you have never heard about their organization, you should politely ask them to explain more about the company and give you details regarding the job description.
Include your contact details, such as email and contact number
Lastly, it is imperative to include your contact details, such as email and contact number, so that they can reach out to you for a detailed discussion. This would also avoid the unnecessary back and forth of them asking you for details again.
Maria A. McDowell
Take a moment to go through the recruiter’s profile
LinkedIn is one of the best platforms where recruiters look for great talents for recruitment. When a recruiter reaches out to you on LinkedIn, how you respond to them depends on your availability for their offer.
If you are interested in the offer or not, it is ideal that you respond professionally and make a good impression. How you respond to a recruiter speaks volumes about your personality.
Before responding to a recruiter, take a moment to go through their profile and have some information about them.
How to respond to a recruiter when you are interested in their offer:
“Hi [Recruiter’s first name],
Thank you for reaching out to me with this exciting opportunity. I am interested in this offer and would like to know more about the role and how to apply formally.
I am open to having a phone conversation with you to get a clearer perspective on this offer and ensure that I am a good fit.
If it is convenient for you, I am available for a phone conversation [mentioned the possible time you are available for a call]. My mobile number is [insert your phone number].
Thank you again for this opportunity, and I look forward to hearing from you.
How to respond to a recruiter when you are not interested or unsure of the offer:
“Hi [Recruiter’s first name],
Thank you for considering me worthy of this opportunity. Currently, I am engaged with [mentioned your current company] as the [mentioned your role].
I am handling an important project for [mentioned your company], which spans [timeframe]. If you don’t mind, I would like to connect with you for future opportunities.
Thank you once again for the offer, and I look forward to the possibility of working with you in the future.
Vice President of Recruiting – West, Betts
Provide necessary details in the reply
When a recruiter messages you on Linkedin, and you’re interested in the opportunity.
The best thing to do:
- reply by saying that you are interested
- you’re open to talking
- why you are interested
- provide times (variety of days/times and time zones), phone number, and email for further connection
Avoid back and forth messages and be transparent with communication
The goal is to avoid back and forth messages and be transparent with communication. Often, these messages can get lost in people’s inboxes, so scheduling a call within the first couple of notes is more efficient.
If you happen to have a Calendly link, that is the best thing to send over as it shows you are serious about the opportunity and ready to learn more about the role.
Founder, Via Travelers
Extend your utmost professionalism
First and foremost, extend your utmost professionalism. One mistake people tend to make on LinkedIn is considering it a similar platform to Facebook or Instagram.
They end up using overly casual slang or greetings which is almost always too early a way in which to speak to a recruiter. This can also give them a feeling you are not too serious about your potential application for their recruiting role.
Don’t be too desperate
Secondly, you also want to keep in mind not sounding too desperate. Recruiters will want to see your passion for a job opportunity and want to see you stand your ground in the negotiation process.
Agreeing to every clause they mention and their terms and conditions is not the best idea. You should be able to contend with them respectfully.
Don’t get ahead of yourself
Moreover, do not get too carried away. Potential candidates often adopt a tone of the conversation that almost makes them come across as certain to be favorites for a role.
Recruiters have likely engaged with multiple potential employees at that moment in time. They want to see a relatively more humble approach being adopted by you.
Appreciate the fact they reached out to you
In addition, do not let the conversation wane away without letting your recruiter know you appreciate the fact they reached out to you. Adopting a humble and grateful approach might set you apart and make them more inclined to reach out to you again.
Ask questions and be curious
Lastly, you should keep in mind questions to ask them as your conversation goes on. Recruiters appreciate curious candidates and form the impression that they are willing and passionate about the role once they receive queries.
Editor in Chief, Decline Magazine
Respond swiftly and professionally if you’re interested in the position
Respond swiftly and professionally if you’re interested in the position. Your recruiter will want to get to know you to see whether you’re a good fit for the organization, so you can set up an initial interview to learn more about the position and ask questions.
It’s always a good idea to get back to any message from a potential employer as soon as possible, regardless of whether you’re ready to look for a new position.
If you’re looking for a new job, you’ll want to know exactly what to say to a recruiter, no matter how enthusiastic you are about the position.
Example number 1:
“Hi, how are you?
We appreciate your comment regarding [job title]. While the position appears interesting and your organization’s job is outstanding, I adore the company for which I presently work.
If I am in the market for a change in the future, I will most certainly contact you.
Once again, many thanks.”
Example number 2:
“How are you?
We appreciate your outreach. I’d welcome the opportunity to chat with you and appreciate your consideration for options that might be a good fit.
Kindly notify me if there is any other information that I can supply between now and then.
Once again, many thanks.
[Your given name]“
Start your message with gratitude
If you find yourself being contacted by a recruiter on LinkedIn, the best way to respond is to start your message with gratitude.
You only have one chance to make a good impression in such situations, so you should drop the typical “suit and tie” messages and focus on being human and friendly to create fluid conversation.
This means ensuring that your reply shows gratitude and is upbeat, curious, as well as assertive, as it often pays to show them that you are ready to take action on the next steps, which should improve your chances of securing a job or, at the very least, get better acquainted with them for other future opportunities.
An excellent example of this in action would be something along the lines of:
I appreciate you reaching out to me, and I am so grateful for your consideration. I can’t emphasize how exciting the idea of working for [company] sounds, which is why I would love a chance to dive deeper into the details.
If you have time to spare, we can schedule a call or perhaps even a meeting to discuss the matter further. Let me know if that sounds good, and once again, thanks so much for reaching out!”
Head of Press, CoolParcel
Include a brief message with your connection request
As an expert, I advise you to include a brief message with your connection request. When contacting recruiters via LinkedIn, including a personalized message will result in a significantly higher acceptance rate.
The message can be very straightforward, such as simply providing your introduction. When the recruiter accepts your acceptance request, send him a follow-up message—express gratitude for accepting your request.
Your message should be concise and focused on a single objective
Inform them of your interest in the position they are offering and how you can contribute to the company for which they are hiring. Your message should be concise and focused on a single objective. Please include your resume.
A sample LinkedIn message to recruiters is as follows:
“How are you? [Recruiter]
[Name] is my given name, and I work as a [Current job position]. Could you spare a moment?
I want to discuss how my [Specified skill] aligns with the position you’re offering. We appreciate your connection and wish you a pleasant day.”
Schedule a follow-up conversation
When recruiters reach out to potential candidates, the standard practice is to give a brief description of the job and let the candidate know that they may be a good fit for the role.
Recruiters will also offer to explain the job further if the candidate has any questions before they apply. This is an excellent opportunity to take. Many candidates will either reject or apply for the position right away.
But you can save yourself a lot of time by having a brief conversation with the recruiter. Recruiter descriptions and even job descriptions don’t always include all of the job expectations.
The best way to decide if a job is right for you is to read the job description and then have a conversation with the recruiter where you discuss any questions you have.
Owner and CEO, Webcitz
Remember to be polite and open with appreciation
Whether the position being offered to you is suitable or not, you should always begin by thanking the recruiter for contacting you and considering you for the role they are attempting to fill.
It is both courteous and professional to do so. It establishes a positive impression of your character, which you may then leverage in the future.
If you are not interested in the position, politely refusing the offer will make it easy to contact the recruiter if your mind changes or you need a new job.
Examine the recruiter
The first item on your list should be to establish the recruiter’s credibility. A good response will be wasted if you discover that the recruiter was not being truthful about the position they are proposing or if the organization they work for is not a good fit for you.
Examine the message to see if it was personalized and targeted for you. Some recruiters send out generic messages to ideal candidates to fill positions quicker.
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